Chuck and Axe Give Their Enemies ‘A Proper Sendoff’
by Dana Feldman | Forbes | April 14, 2019
Ok, so there may not be dragons on Billions but the merciless way in which these characters slay their enemies on this show is just as frightening. This week’s episode “A Proper Sendoff” begins with both Chuck (Paul Giamatti) and Axe (Damian Lewis) struggling to maintain their power. Those that cross them quickly learn what a mistake it is to underestimate either.
At a dinner in the opening scene with Chuck, Wendy (Maggie Siff), Axe and Rebecca Cantu (Nina Arianda), Wendy is given some very good advice. And, she needs all the help she can get as she copes with the fallout of Chuck’s announcement to the world about their proclivity to whips and chains.
“Most people are self-absorbed narcissistic a**holes,” Nina tells Wendy. “So, they might revel in your s**t for a minute because it distracts them from theirs, but after that minute they’re going to forget about you and go right back to their own s**t pile.” She makes a good point. We all need a friend like Nina in our corner!
Axe also tries to comfort Chuck, saying it will all blow over. To make his point, he tells Chuck that Wendy has been that angry with him before. When Chuck asks what he did to make things right, Axe says, “A few million dollars, Italian sports car, piece of the profits and I stopped suing you.” Now Chuck’s really got to feel bad.
Chuck Has A Challenging First Day As Attorney General:
The night before his first day on the job, Axe presents Chuck with another ask. Axe did, after all, help him earn his seat, so it looks like there will be many asks on the table. This one is regarding Taylor (Asia Kate Dillon). Axe refers to them as a “Wall Street scalp” as he details his request.
Chuck, however, has a pretty full plate. He’s very irked by a now deceased “Black” Jack Foley (David Strathairn). Foley “rode the pale horse” before he could get his vengeance, but Chuck still has enough names on his hit list to keep him very busy.
While Axe can appreciate this, he says, “Do your thing but you gotta do my thing.” Seems like a fair trade. To this, Chuck points out that he got rid of Grigor Andolov (John Malcovich) which did hurt Taylor financially. Unfortunately, this just isn’t enough for Axe. He wants Taylor in a cell. I guess this means he’s not accepting the olive branch Taylor extended after all.
Chuck also has Chuck Sr. (Jeffrey DeMunn) to contend with. His father really needs those sanitation permits for his development project, which he says will be his legacy. Unfortunately for Chuck, his father just refuses to wait for him to get settled in his new job and goes ahead and gets those permits on his own, which pings on the FBI’s radar. Now, Connerty (Toby Leonard Moore) and Kate Sacker (Condola Rashad) have something on the Rhoades family. Just what Chuck needs his first day on the job.
As if things couldn’t get worse, well they do. Within minutes of walking in the door his first morning, Chuck finds out his office has zero authority. He can’t even get a record subpoena on Taylor. A master at turning tables, he approaches the governor to see why his power has been stripped. He’s not surprised when he finds out Jock Jeffcoat (Clancy Brown) is responsible.
He gets his groove-slash-power back and makes it clear to all his enemies at Foley’s funeral that he’s not one to go down easily. As he makes a speech, giving Foley “a proper sendoff,” his team rushes in and makes a slew of arrests of those in attendance.
Axe Explains Why You Never Give The Money Back:
Axe needs to learn that he can’t just throw money at people and expect problems and hard feelings to evaporate. Unfortunately, some people do hold grudges, even if you pay for their higher education and invest in their company.
You remember back in the day, after the whole 9-11 fallout, Axe put a bunch of kids through college via the Firefighter’s Memorial Foundation? Well, fast-forward to present day and the foundation is once again very much at the center of attention. Those with decision-making powers are hearing pitches as the fund prepares to allocate up to $3.1 billion from its pension and health fund.
This is not good news for Axe, which he soon learns when one of those he put through business school pays him a visit. John Rice (Seth Gabel) shows up at Axe Cap and gives Axe a check for $102 million for his initial investment, including a $17 million profit. And, why is this bad news you ask?
Axe knows he’s being cashed out and Wags (David Costabile) soon confirms he’s the only one. Ok, so here’s the thing about Axe: You don’t screw him over. Not ever. Especially if, in his eyes, he did you a solid. Taylor also learned this lesson, though they’re a lot smarter than “Johnny Boy.”
Axe takes John out on a fishing expedition of sorts. They do, in fact, go fishing but there are multiple motives for this outing. It’s really a ruse to get John off the radar for the day so his clients can’t reach him. This gives Axe’s team enough time to take John’s business down. Axe explains why he’s destroyed him and just how bad the damage is. Since they left for the day, John’s business is down between 70% and 80% on assets under management. The team at Axe Cap were able to put $741 million of John’s $1 billion into play. “Never give back the money, Kid,” Axe tells him.
Wendy Deals With The Consequences Of Chuck’s Actions:
It may be 30 days after Chuck’s big announcement to the world that they practice BDSM, but to Wendy, the wound is as open and raw as that very first day. The feelings of humiliation and anger are powerful but she knows she has to find a way live with her new reality.
So, she faces her fears head-on and does a dreaded Google search on herself. At first, she can barely look but she is eventually able to withstand the things being said about her. Wanting to connect with someone that understands, she reaches out to Taylor. Axe may not have accepted Taylor’s peace offering but Wendy does.
Taylor Goes After New Money:
Taylor is devastated when they find out about the loss of Grigor’s investment. “I never wanted Grigor Andolov’s money. I lobbied against it once. But then I took it on and it sustained us like an internal organ and now without it, we’re gutted,” Taylor tells Sara (Samantha Mathis) and Mafee (Dan Soder).
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